Monday, 23 December 2013

Life As A Duck

I have never wanted to be a duck. Even at my imaginative best when I was a kid, I never really wanted to be a duck. Though, I might’ve fantasised about being a dog. My own dog, that is. I always wanted to skip school and more so during the winters. Every morning when I used to wake up, I always got jealous of my dog because she always slept till late cuddled inside the warm blanket. I’m still jealous of my current dog. Layla spends 18 hours out of the 24 inside the bed. I want that life.

Back to being a duck. As a kid, I had a golden opportunity to transform myself into a duck. I shit you not, this is a true story. Once upon a time in the Trans-Yamuna region of Delhi, lovingly known as Jamnaa-Paar, there was a ‘Chamunda Mandir’ close to where I lived. It was about 500 mts. outside my apartment complex. Since we were kids, our parents never really allowed us to go outside the society unless accompanied by adults. Since we were kids, and harami kids at that, we never really obeyed them, and went out to explore the so called dangerous by lanes of our locality every now and then.

Being typical Indian parents, they never really gave it to us straight. To make us not go as far as that Chamunda Mandir, our parents told us a very interesting story. 

"Apparently, the priest of that Chamunda Mandir used to kidnap kids and turn them into ducks. Like he would pick up kids who would be roaming around alone around his temple, turn them into ducks, and then rear them in his backyard. By rearing them I mean, well, you know what I mean. And then parents would go out looking for their kids and the kids would be ducks trying to reach out to their parents but the parents wouldn't recognise them and the kids will live the rest of their lives as ducks. Quack quack."



This story was told to us so many times, by so many different people, with so much conviction, that we ended up believing it was true. I mean, it must’ve been, right? Why would your parents and a bunch of other parents lie to you about something like this? So much so that till date I feel that there was something shady about the pandit from that temple.

I’m pretty sure today that the temple and the priest were just fine. Sure he had some ducks in his backyard but that was a nice thing, right? He used to feed them, they used to come out walking, and we used to smile at them from our cars whenever we passed them. But the moment we used to see the priest, we used to start shivering and hide. We didn’t want to become ducks. We used to avoid that road when we were alone. We never, at least I never even entered the temple. Now it’s gone and I’ll never be able to figure out the mystery behind the duck converting priest.

I remember there was a black duck amongst a bunch of white ducks. And I used to have a really good friend from the South who just disappeared one day with his family. Later I found out that they had shifted in an emergency but they were fine. Back then I thought that he became a duck, the black one, since he was dark, and the family couldn’t deal with their loss so they moved away. Kids, I tell you.

Today when I think about the duck and the priest and his temple, I find it all so absurd. Why couldn’t parents give it to us straight? That it’s risky and that we could actually get kidnapped or hurt if we stepped outside? Why tell us an idiotic story that makes us believe in things which do not exist? Because we were idiots, right. Well done parents, well done.


This is just one of the weird stories I have heard from my parents which I actually believed back in the day. How many of you have been told that you’ll grow a tree inside your stomach if you eat the seeds of a fruit? Or if you drink water in between meals then you’ll develop a keechad right inside your paet? Tell me more. Or else, Kali Mata will come and light your hair on fire. Believe you me, she will. 

6 comments:

  1. HILARIOUS! That part about your south indian friend suddenly disappearing and you convinced that he had become a duck. Wah bhai wah. I don't think I had to deal with such elaborate tales in my childhood, though somehow all pandits were widely feared by all kids. They all had some secret reputation of making off with kids.

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    1. Hahahhaha I thought this pandit bullshit was only jamnaa paar. :P

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  2. They didnt gv it to u straight, bcz by ur admission u were harami kids :p n hence they needed to scare the shit out of u to make u listen n obey.

    P.S, nice read

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    1. Haha guess you're right, but this myth was known to all kids in my locality. Even other societies/apartments. Funny as hell when I think of it today. And thanks! :)

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  3. GODDAMN!!! HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH
    BLack duck? YOU RACIST RACIST CHILD!! HAHAHAHAH

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    1. Hahahaha an innocent racist child :P

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